Public sector management: roles, responsibilities & citizen accountability

Last updated on September 18, 2023

Effective public sector management relies on the contributions of many people. Each person or agency has specific roles and responsibilities that support the organization in meeting public interest goals.

B.C. citizens elect the legislative assembly, from which Cabinet ministers are selected. Cabinet ministers are responsible for ministry programs, Crown corporations, the such sector and advisory boards and tribunals which are created and managed to serve the public.

People and agencies involved include:


The legislature represents the public interest.


  • Approves legislation to create or dissolve a public sector organization and setting its mandate
  • Approves the allocation of public funds
  • Approves legislation that impacts the governance of public sector organizations


The Cabinet decides the policies and direction of the B.C. government. Cabinet committees work on behalf of Cabinet and all Cabinet committees are approved by Cabinet.


  • Approves the creation or dissolution of public sector organizations
  • Approves mandate letters for public sector organizations
  • Determines the funding and revenue generation capacity for organizations, including approval of fees, licenses, etc.
  • Establishes the government’s approach to governance, such as appointments, director compensation and CEO recruitment
  • Approves and rescinds board appointments

Responsible ministry

Every public sector organization in B.C. is assigned a ministry that is responsible for the organization. There are three key roles within the ministry:

  1. Minister
  2. Deputy Minister
  3. Ministry Staff


The Minister is the primary link between the B.C. government and the organization and is held accountable to the government for the performance of the organization.


  • Communicates the B.C. government’s mandate, performance expectations and policy direction to the organization through an annual mandate letter
  • Meets with the board chair quarterly to discuss relevant business and review goals, performance measures, financial targets and risk assessments
  • Represents the organization in the legislature by tabling any legislation related to the organization
  • Reviews and approves the organization’s service plans and annual reports

Deputy minister

The deputy minister is the main advisor to the minister.


  • Develops a strategic engagement plan with the organization
  • Liaises with the CEO and senior staff (including board chair if required)

Ministry staff


  • Reviews and advises on the organization’s service plans and annual reports
  • Works with the minister to develop mandate letters and Service Level Agreements (if applicable)
  • Ensures the pay the board members receive is consistent with Treasury Board direction

Board of directors

The organization’s board of directors ensures the organization complies with the B.C. government’s policies and legislation and is accountable for the organization’s performance. There are two main roles within a board:

  1. Board chair
  2. Directors

Board chair

The board chair is the primary link between the organization and the B.C. government.


  • Meets with the responsible minister quarterly to discuss relevant business and review goals, performance measures, financial targets and risk assessments
  • Manages board affairs, including evaluating board performance and resolving conflicts of interest
  • Be the designated spokesperson for the board


Individual board members who collectively manage the organization in a manner consistent with their mandate and policy directions. The board is held accountable for the performance of the CEO and senior executive.


  • Hires, pays and evaluates the CEO/President
  • Establishes policies and procedures that are consistent with governance standards
  • Oversees the development of service plans and annual reports

Chief Executive Officer or President

The CEO manages the organization’s daily operations. In public post-secondary institutions the CEO position is referred to as the President.


  • Implements board-approved initiatives
  • Develops strategic initiatives, policies, operating and capital budgets and submits them to the board for approval
  • Liaises with the Deputy Minister

Crown Agencies and Board Resourcing Office

The Crown Agencies and Board Resourcing Office supports public sector organizations in meeting governance and accountability requirements. They also provide information about public sector organizations, the people who are appointed to serve on them and the appointment process.


  • Provides guidelines and advice to ministries and public sector organizations for completing mandate letters, service plans, and annual reports
  • Provides policy advice and guidance on governance issues
  • Provides advice on the creation and dissolution of public sector organizations, including mandate reviews
  • Ensures appointees receive orientation and professional development relating to governing in the public interest
  • Establishes guidelines for appointments to public sector organizations
  • Ensure boards of directors of public sector organizations in B.C. are:
    • strong and reflect the diversity of our province
    • composed of qualified and dedicated people

Public Sector Employers’ Council

The Public Sector Employers’ Council Secretariat coordinates the Province’s strategic direction for labour relations and human resource management across the public sector.


  • Provides coordination of strategic labour relations and direction for policies relating to human resources
  • Coordinates union and non-union compensation across the public sector
  • Provides guidelines for the public sector remuneration as administered by the Appointee Remuneration Committee (ARC).
  • Coordinates annual disclosure  for executive compensation

Treasury Board Staff

Treasury Board Staff develops and reviews the B.C. government's economic and fiscal policies.


  • Compiles financial and forecast information from public sector organizations into the B.C. government’s budget and fiscal plan, estimates and quarterly reports
  • Review any requests for public sector organization funding

Provincial Treasury

Provincial Treasury supports the organization with its borrowing and financing needs.


  • Provides borrowing, risk management, debt management, financing and consulting services to organizations
  • Reviews and approving indemnities and guarantees issued by organizations

Office of the Comptroller General

The Office of the Comptroller General ensures the quality and integrity of the organization's financial management and control systems.


  • Collects quarterly financial information from organizations and preparing the Public Accounts
  • Provides financial and procurement policy advice

Tax Policy Branch

Tax Policy Branch provides tax policy analysis and advice.


  • Provides advice on tax implications relating to organizational assets

Ministry of Attorney General

Ministry of Attorney General provides legal counsel.


  • Provides legal advice on creating organizations, including implications for inter-governmental agreements, contractual obligations and legislation

Contact Information

Contact the Crown Agencies and Board Resourcing Office.

For board appointments:

For general enquiries: